Heck Wins Bass Fishing League Super Tournament on Sam Rayburn Reservoir

August 28, 2023
Bass Fishing League (BFL) News

BROOKELAND, Texas (Aug. 28, 2023) – Boater Hayden Heck of Lufkin, Texas, caught six bass weighing 36 pounds, 4 ounces, to win the two-day MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League tournament on Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Brookeland, Texas. The tournament, which was fished with a three-bass daily limit, was the fifth and final regular-season tournament for the Bass Fishing League Cowboy Division. Heck earned $14,704 for his victory, including the $7,000 Phoenix MLF contingency bonus.

“We started off each day looking for fish and fishing brushpiles,” Heck said. “We caught some on a big worm and a jig, and others came on a Double Z Custom Lures Swayback Swimmer, which is a small 4-inch swimbait we were using for suspended fish just hanging around.

“We spent a lot of time just scoping around trying to pick off single fish,” Heck added. “We were looking in 20 to 25 feet of water since the surface temperature is ridiculous right now.”

Heck said his fishing was better Saturday – he caught more fish and they bit better – while Sunday was tougher. Heck said he didn’t catch any quality fish after 10 a.m. He said he could see good fish, but they kept their mouths shut.

“It was a good tournament, and I can’t complain,” Heck said. “I had 15 pounds or so by mid-morning Sunday, and I really thought it would take a total weight of 30 to 32 pounds to win. I got a little lucky and got a few bigger fish to bring that weight up.

“This is the second BFL I’ve ever fished, and it feels really good to win one of the two-day ones,” Heck added. “I fished my first one in January. I’ve been out of town for almost two months, but I got back and had a little time to look around, saw some good fish, and decided to jump in the tournament. So, this is awesome.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:

1st:          Hayden Heck, Lufkin, Texas, six bass, 36-4, $14,704 (includes $7,000 Phoenix MLF5 Contingency Bonus)
2nd:        Zane Parker, Kingwood, Texas, six bass, 31-0, $3,352
3rd:        Derek Mundy, Broaddus, Texas, six bass, 28-2, $2,233
4th:         Wesley Baxley, Cypress, Texas, six bass, 26-1, $1,564
5th:         Hank Harrison, Nacogdoches, Texas, six bass, 23-2, $1,341
6th:         Tommy Loving, Cypress, Texas, six bass, 22-0, $1,229
7th:         Thomas McMillan, Choudrant, La., six bass, 21-7, $1,117
8th:         Kevin Lasyone, Dry Prong, La., six bass, 20-14, $1,006
9th:         John Ellender, Lake Charles, La., six bass, 20-5, $894
10th:      Colby Bryant, Houston, Texas, six bass, 20-5, $782

Tater Reynolds of Florien, Louisiana, had a bass that weighed 8 pounds, 9 ounces that was the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division and earned the Big Bass Boater award of $975. Jacob Smith of McKinney, Texas, won the Co-angler Division and $3,839 Sunday after catching a two-day total of six bass weighing 23 pounds, 13 ounces.

The top 10 co-anglers were:

1st:          Jacob Smith, McKinney, Texas, six bass, 23-13, $3,839
2nd:        Gary Lachance, Austin, Texas, five bass, 17-12, $1,676
3rd:        Jesse Rawls, Lorena, Texas, six bass, 17-5, $1,117
4th:         Michael Mooney, Diana, Texas, six bass, 16-13, $782
5th:         William Hadraba, Willow Springs, Ill., six bass, 16-1, $670
6th:         Stephen Crumpler II, Bloomburg, Texas, six bass, 15-2, $615
7th:         Zach Moran, Waco, Texas, six bass, 15-0, $559
8th:         David Laine, Bryan, Texas, five bass, 14-3, $503
9th:         Nick Stanislaus, Porter, Texas, six bass, 13-15, $647
10th:      Ben Faucheaux, Natchitoches, La., six bass, 13-14, $391

Smith also caught the largest bass in the Strike King Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 8 pounds, 6 ounces. The catch earned him the Berkley Big Bass Co-angler award of $487.

With the regular season now complete, boater Tater Reynolds of Florien, Louisiana, won the 2023 Bass Fishing League Cowboy Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with a five-event total of 1,324 points to earn the $1,000 boater AOY award. J.J. Matzke of League City, Texas, won the 2023 Strike King Co-Angler Cowboy Division AOY race with 1,320 points and earned the $500 Strike King Co-angler of the Year award.